What About Happiness, Feeling Good and Fulfillment?
Continuing from last post, here’s the rest of my response to a blog reader who asked what I know about happiness, feeling good and fulfillment.
There is another kind of satisfaction that I equate with fulfillment, whether that’s fulfillment of one’s sense of purpose in life, or of one’s values in a given situation.
I look back on my years of parenting, and I feel happy about it, because it was a satisfying experience. Same with my travels, when i saw the world, needed next to nothing and it was a satisfying experience. So I have happiness recollecting it. I look at my body of work and I feel fulfilled in having done it, left a bit of a legacy to help others along the way. I look at my speaking career and feel fulfilled because in doing it I always felt like I was doing exactly what I was born and meant to do.
So, J, now that I’m thinking out loud about this, seems that on a majorly happy level, when one fulfills values or purpose, that’s satisfying and creates a sense of happiness. And also there’s the little satisfaction, like having a fizzy drink on a hot day, no values are fulfilled, no overarching sense of purpose is fulfilled, but it’s a satisfying experience nonetheless, and it produces a happy sensation.
Smell a flower, same thing. Wind in my hair, same thing. Watch the leaves turn in autumn, feel a snowflake against the skin, the caress of a lover, the scent of a cookie, looking into a deep bowl of delicious popcorn before ever eating a bite, Thursdays, all of these provide moments of satisfaction in my life.
So there’s satisfaction looking back at values fulfilled through experience, and there’s the happiness of being in the moment and the moment lines up, and there’s the happiness of looking into the future and believing in your dreams for it.
Because I know that when I envision learning something new, or taking on an exciting project, there’s a great deal of satisfaction I feel associated with that. It happened for me in 2003, just before I developed my ‘The Art of Change’ video and speech. It happened on September 28 this past year, when I woke up and saw exactly how to write my next book, but before I’d committed a single word to digital paper.
Hey, this is fun!
Ok, let’s get practical with this. I also associate feeling good with emotional/mental satisfaction and physical well being. If you’re in pain, it tends to pull attention away from everything else. Last night, I ate too much popcorn…loaded with oil and cheese. great going in, but after, felt too full, a little off. Didn’t feel good.
But I was happy, satisfied with my Thursday night ritual of popcorn and superman colors, looked ahead to next day and knew I was about done writing my next book, getting some time back to play and laugh and do spontaneous things. So I felt pretty good, but didn’t feel great/good. When all is said and done, I come back around to the happiness that comes from choosing what is and being satisfied with it (might as well, since it is what it is whether you’re satisified with it or not)
Right now, I’m looking at what I wrote here, and feeling happy to have arrived at the end of it, satisfied with my response to the question, and fulfilled in having written it.” That’s my response to the question. What’s yours? Comments are welcome, as are (obviously) questions!
be well, Rick
Rick is a best selling author and the founder of the Art of Change Skills for Life. His book titles include, Dealing with People You Can’t Stand: How to bring out the best in people at their worst, Life by Design and Influence and the Art of Persuasion. These days he is spending quality time away from the spotlight enjoying the company of his wife and practicing his electric guitar.